Monday, August 23, 2010

Es war ein kalter, bewölkter Tag, als der Reiter den kleinen Spatz in der Mitte des Weges sah, auf dem Rücken liegend.
Im Sattel sitzen bleibend, sah er auf die zerbrechliche Kreatur und fragte: "Was liegst du hier auf deinem Rücken auf der Strasse herum?"
"Ich habe gehört, dass heute der Himmer herab fallen soll."
Der Reiter lachte: "Und deine spindeldürren Beine halten ihn auf?"
"Man tut, was man kann," sagte der kleine Spatz.

                                                     - Quelle unbekannt

And my translation for any English-speaking readers:

It was a cold, cloudy day as the knight saw the little sparrow, lying on his back in the middle of the path.
Remaining in the saddle, he looked at the fragile creature and asked:"What are you doing, lying there on your back?"
"I heard that today the sky is going to fall."
The knight laughed: "And your twig-thin legs are going to hold it up?"
"One does what one can," answered the little sparrow.

                                                         - Source unknown

Why there is reason to rejoice

Today I was at the post office to mail a package for a co-worker. She had already put several stamps on it, but I had to have it weighed to see if the postage was enough. The postage was in fact 20 cents short. I didn't have any money - just our company's charge card - along, and the disgruntled postal worker did not look kindly on the idea of going through the hassle of the card just for 20 cents of postage. 

But then, Kindness appeared in the form of the lady at the next counter who tossed a 20-cent coin on my counter. No-longer-quite-as-disgruntled postal worker lady took the money, and I returned to work, smiling the whole way.

This little moment made my day. 20 cents is practically nothing, but reminders of people's inherent goodness are worth all the money in the world.  Many thanks, meine Dame!

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To speak of many things..."


I have always decided against starting an online journal because:
1) For inexplicable reasons, the word "blog" makes me cringe.
2) The whole idea of online journals seems like yet another step towards impersonality in the isolating process that is internet communication. If I know that my friends and family can fill themselves in on what I'm up to on their own time, will it make even more lazy about establishing actual contact with them?
3) Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like a journal is something that deserves to be handwritten, be it in a fine leather-bound book or hastily jotted on a napkin.

However, as you can see, these misgivings have been outweighed, thanks to the following factors:
1) Many of my email-update recipients are not on Facebook and thus don't have access to any pictures I get around to posting.
2) People have told me "Hey, you should start a blog."
3) In the "use it or lose it" mentality, I'm attempting to get back into the writing mode. Similarly, as my daily life takes place in German, I am trying to ensure that I maintain a native speaker's grasp on the English language.
4) In the past couple of years, I've had many meaningful, enjoyable, or just plain funny experiences that I keep meaning to write down so that I can remember them. I, of course, never get around to it, though, and they are sliding bit by bit from my memory. My hope is that writing with the goal of informing others, I will be better about taking the time to reflect and record.  So really, this effort is just for my own sake.

So there you have it: the entire thought process behind the starting of this journal. As you may have noticed, I like lists, and I tend to ramble. You've been warned.